Hunting The Eastern Cape - James

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Hunting The Eastern Cape - James

 

25th September 2019

James arrived from Canada for his 4th Hunting Safari with Induna safaris - Hunting The Eastern Cape. After arriving at the lodge we went over to the shooting range to sight in the 222 and 30-06 rifles we would be using for the next week of hunting. The rest of the day was spent unpacking and settling in.

 

26th September 2019

We travelled over to a Rocky Mountainous area within about 30 mins of the main lodge to look for a Klipspringer. During the last hunt earlier this year we tried several times to get within shooting range of a ram but we were unsuccessful.  After making our way to the summit we slowing moved along the ridge and spent the next several hours glassing for Klipspringer. During this time we did spot several animals moving, however they were females with young rams and were not mature. The groups may have had a more mature ram with them but due to the fact they were so alert we could not get close to them at any point. The wind was also blowing and swirling from the wrong direction. We drove over to an area in a valley bottom nearby and spent some time glassing and noticed a group of Bontebok Rams.  After glassing and looking at them through the spotting scope we identified a ram that was the most mature. It was getting late so after walking for miles for Klipspringer we decided to call it a day and headed back to the lodge 

 

27th September 2019

Kelvin and I discussed our options for the day and we made a decision that we would try for a Bontebok today, the wind was still not right for the top of the mountain and it was exceptionally hot and the forecast called for 38-39 degrees.  When we arrived at the plateau where we spotted the Bontebok the day before we eventually spotted the animals feeding. After taking a closer look we decided to try to stalk closer and get within shooting distance as they were a long ways away. We did get closer but due to the fact the animals were feeding among groups of springbok it was extremely difficult to get close because of the amount of eyes and alertness of the springbok. I was finally able to take a shot however due to the distance and the fact the animals were running and on high alert I missed the shot it went low. Once again we tried several stalks and failed to get close, we headed back to the vehicle to get over to the other side of the valley during this time we managed to get a flat tire on one of the razor sharp rocks the the roads are paved with. This did give us a bit of a break, the heat was intense with very little wind and at this time in the late morning was already almost 34 degrees. Once the tire was repaired we spotted the group of rams again and this time we were eventually able to get within about 200 yards. We walked for more than an hour to get close and I was able to take a shot and it hit low.  It took several more hours to get within 400 yards of the group to place a follow-up shot. I was able to finally shoot the ram and by this time we were exhausted. The effort was worth it this ram ended up being more that 15 inches and was a Rowland Ward Bontebok.

 

28th September 2019

Today we headed back to the nearby mountain with rocky outcropping to look for Klipspringer, the wind was perfect and the temperature was going to be around 28 which was much more tolerable. Once we reached the top we did spot several animals as we walked very slowly. We stopped several times and just sat and glassed the areas along the cliff wall, although we spotted a few animals we could not get within 400 yards of them.  Working our way along the mountain we reached an area that descended then ascended up to another peak. Between these areas there was a steep rock face than dropped straight down, Kelvin spotted a group of 3 animals on the rocks feeding. We could not see if there was a ram so we very slowly stalked closer, eventually we did get close enough and hid behind a bush. Due to the fact that one of the Klipspringer was on the rock and acting as a sentry we had to stay dead still. We could see that one was a nice ram but he was almost 300 yards away. I did not feel comfortable with this distance with the 222 and wanted to be closer as it was windy and the shells are light weight. It took almost 40 minutes of belly crawling to get closer, each time we had to look to make sure we did not get busted. Finally we reached a position behind a smaller bush at 187 yards, I took the shot from a sitting position and the first two shots missed slightly. After making an adjustment in sighting I hit the ram and he slip off the rock and went downhill. We made our way over to the area and after some time we located the ram. The area was so steep it was literally straight down. The ram was an excellent trophy and had nice secondary growth with horns over 4 inches in length. I have made two trips to Africa and climbed the mountain many times walking countless miles to finally get this nice Klipspringer. We made our way back to the vehicle and during the return we got two flat tires on the same rock, we had to work quickly to repair the tires as we were worried about the quill like hair on the hide of the Klipspringer slipping from the hide in the heat.

 

 

29th September 2019

When we took the shots at the Bontebok earlier in the week, I just had a gut feeling that the rifle was not hitting where I aimed and was shooting low. Either the scope got bumped of for some reason was off the mark for the initial sighting in. I did not feel confident with the rifle and wanted to head over to the range before going after a Blue Wildebeest. We set the target to 100 yards and although the shots were on target left to right they were shooting low which at 200 to 300 years would be far too low. I made a considerable adjustment to about 2 inches high at 100 yards and we packed up and headed off to look for a Wildebeest bull. We glassed the the valleys from the top of the hills and eventually spotted a large group. Over the next couple of hours we walked and stalked following the group trying to get closer. At one point the group disappeared over a ridge and moved to a low point below us. We slowly moved forward and we knew they were nearby, suddenly we heard them run and they took off to our right the group was led by a zebra and some Wildebeest cows and calves. The bull was the second last animal and after running he finally stopped at about 175 yards. I had to run over to the sticks and had no time to do anything but shoot, he was quartering away when I took the shot. We could see straight away he was hit hard in the shoulder he ran a short distance and dropped. I was very glad I took the time to adjust the sights at the range. The Wildebeest bull was a very nice animal with a dark face and beautiful cape with contrasting stripes.

We went over to another area in the afternoon to look for Warthog, I have made 4 trips to Africa and could never seem to get close to a big mature male. We did see some animals but it was cooler out so we had no luck finding what we were after. 

 

30th September 2019

Kelvin and I had discussed pursing a Black Impala ram several times and I wanted to try to find one, we headed off to an area about 1 hour from the main lodge. Once we arrived we very quickly spotted a couple of Black Impala rams running with a group of common Impala. They were very skittish and as soon as they spotted us they ran off and we could not get within 1000 yards of them. Due to the fact that the area was open plains with brush about chest high the prospect of getting close was no easy task. We decided it was easier for just two of us to try to sneak close to them; we moved into a position downwind and off to a 45 degree angle. We could see the group moving to our right side, we attempted to cut the distance and crouched down and tried to stay within the limited cover. Eventually the group stopped and looked straight at us, we stayed low and watched them the largest Black ram was the last one. Only his head and horns were visible due to the brush, after a few minutes he moved, I could see his back and neck.

I decided to take the shot knowing that the longer this went on the more these animals would run and put distance between us. I hit the ram in the lower neck area behind the shoulder and he immediately dropped. When we got close we immediately saw he was an extremely nice Black Impala with horns that went straight up. He had a beautiful jet black coat and is an amazing trophy. 

 

1st October 2019 

We headed over to look for warthogs again today; I was beginning to think I had the curse of the Warthog. We spent some time glassing from above the valleys and saw some groups feeding below. Eventually we located a large mature male feeding on a hillside far off. We took up a position down wind and hoped he would keep moving over to us, he never did. We then came up with a plan to walk and stalk below and over behind him. We spent the next hour carefully stalking and eventually we saw only his tooth sticking up behind some brush he was laying down in the sun. We had no choice but to stay still behind a bush, if we moved anywhere he would have spotted us. I set up on the sticks and waited for him to stand; we could see his eyes, ears and teeth with his nose pointed away. There was a gap less than 4 feet wide in the brush where he was bedded.

He eventually stood for no more than 2 seconds and moved forward, I immediately took the shot and hit him in the shoulder he was quartering away slightly. He was hit hard and ran a short distance and dropped. He was a very large bodied mature male with worn teeth and battle scarred face and I was finally able to get my Warthog.

  

2nd October 2019

The day of the Warthog 

Having managed to succeed in getting the four animals I wanted to hunt, we decided to spend my last day on a cull hunt for Warthog. It was a nice warm day and over the next 6 hours we managed to get 8 warthogs they were everywhere we looked. We made some great stalks to get within range. Hunting being what it is, it was ironic that over my last 4 trips I could not get within range of one, now it seemed they were everywhere.

The Warthog do a lot of damage to fences and by digging massive holes, also each Warthog eats as much as several sheep a day. If the numbers are not controlled they quickly reproduce and become a problem. Judging by how many we saw and how fast they reproduce i don’t think we even made a dent in the population.

 

Comments:

Another amazing trip to Induna Safaris as usual the hunting was fantastic and the hospitality was amazing. It was great to visit with Kelvin, Denise and the kids, Alton and the rest of the staff do an excellent job. I am already thinking about the next time I am able to return to spend some time here again.

James

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